Perthshire has much to offer visitors – from culture geeks to country walkers – who are seeking peace and quiet, but there’s also a whole world of thrills to be found if you want to try something wilder. Our county has a reputation as the go-to region in Scotland for thrill-seekers, outdoor adventurers and everyone eager to take a walk on the wild side, with some of the most highly rated and qualified instructors in the field at your disposal. And the Perthshire countryside is the perfect backdrop for your adventuring – you can soak up the scenic sights right before you bungee-jump off a bridge or whitewater-raft down the river!
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most thrilling activities to try. Everything’s within driving distance of Perth city too, making it an ideal base for your break.
1) Bungee Jumping
The Pass of Killiecrankie is a beautiful wooded gorge with the River Garry flowing by its base. It’s one of the most striking views in the whole country, so why not take it in from a different angle – by plunging down 40 metres below with a bungee cord attached to your feet! The Highland Fling Bungee jump is the UK’s first static bungee jump, giving intrepid thrillseekers a once in a lifetime experience of a 50mph free fall that bounces you back.
The Highland Fling is a favourite with adrenaline junkies but is also popular for the more intrepid group weekend activity, including stag and hen parties, and many a charity fundraiser. So whether it’s your birthday, anniversary, family gathering or you’re just looking for a challenge, Highland Fling are there for you. You can bring along your supporters to cheer you on as well.
You can also make sure the moment is recorded for history – and bragging purposes – through photos or video.
Find out more at Highland Fling’s website for more details.
2) Highland Fling Bridge Swing
While you’re at the Pass of Killiecrankie, why not make it a double thrill by trying Scotland’s most exciting swing? The latest development from Highland Fling Bungee is the Bridge Swing, the first purpose-built, permanent swing platform from a bridge in Britain.
From a specially designed swing platform 40 metres above the River Garry, in a full body harness, you’ll be quick-released from above, dropping into a free fall of around 15 metres before the rope takes the slack and you accelerate through a thrilling arc under the bungee platform where the main anchors are attached. Once the swing is over you’ll be winched back to where you started. This is a safe and unforgettable adrenaline-packed experience using the latest technology and safety equipment, led by experienced, qualified Bridge Swing Masters.
Find out more at Highland Fling’s website for more details.
3) White Water Rafting
There are ten rivers in Perthshire, perfect for a gentle paddle, but for those looking for something with more force, the River Tay can’t be beaten, and has been a favourite destination for white water rafters for many years. Highland Fling offers a six mile run from Aberfeldy to Grandtully that’s ideal for families (children over 8) and groups, no experience necessary.
Splash White Water Rafting is one of the UK’s most experienced expert outdoor adventure activity providers, offering exhilarating rafting trips starting from its base in Aberfeldy. The river trips showcase the beautiful Highland landscapes as you learn your new skills, before the river drops into the challenging rapids to Grandtully, including one called “The Washing Machine”!
White Water Rafting Scotland also offers routes on the Rivers Tay and Tummel. Choose your level, from a less hectic mild river run to the fast and furious white-knuckle rapids and drops. Their highly qualified instructors will ensure you have the safest experience possible. Book online and combine with a variety of other outdoor activities for a top weekend away or jam-packed holiday, or to pick up gift vouchers, valid for up to a year.
Nae Limits, the 4-star activity experience as featured on television adverts for Visit Scotland, also offers exceptional white water rafting expeditions on the Tay and Tummel, with the River Orchy offering one of the most extreme rating experiences in the country – class 5 rapids guaranteed!
4) Cliff Jumping
Cliff-jumping is a great activity for those with a little more bravado who want to try something more unusual. Jumping from a cliff into a plunge pool is an exhilarating, challenging and fun-packed experience. With heights starting from 3 feet and ascending to 45 feet, it’s an activity you can build up as you feel more confident. How far you go is up to you! Set near Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire, Pitlochry Outdoor Activities offers cliff-jumping in a beautiful setting, and it’s a great family and corporate group activity.
5) Canyoning & Gorge Walking
Whether you choose the horizontal or vertical path, there’s an exhilarating route waiting for you. Gorge walking is the more straightforward route; a walk up or down a river, including all the leaps and slides necessary. Canyoning is the more challenging task, where the only way is down. Splash is an experienced operator that started offering this exciting adventure sport – a mix of jumping, walking, swimming and abseiling – in Scotland back in 2003.
There are plenty of paths on offer across Perthshire, with Nae Limits and Vertical Descents, and both organisations provide appropriate training. Nae Limits offers half- and full-day packages to push you to your very limits. Check out both websites to find the best experience for you.
6) Quad Biking, Segways and 4x4 off-roading
Perthshire’s rugged landscape and rolling hills offer the ideal terrain for a thrilling off-road experience. There is a variety of places across the region where you can try these exciting activities, each with its own attractions and recommendations. Nae Limits’ quad biking estate covers an incredible 1000 acres of farmland, complete with tricky ditches and hills to navigate, while Perthshire Offroad’s miles-long trails near Glenfarg combine the beauty of the landscape with the challenge of the route by quad bike or Land Rover Defender. Meanwhile Crieff Hydro offers Quad Biking, Segway Tours and 4x4 driving, meaning you have a choice of fun-filled transport!
Each place offers an experience suited to your abilities, desires and group size, making it ideal for everyone from families to hen- and stag dos and corporate parties. These activities are available all year round, regardless of the weather. So even if it pours down on your visit, you won’t go away disappointed.
Ever wanted to see if your Call Of Duty skills transfer to the real world? Nothing brings a group together quite like a fierce contest, and paintballing allows for all the thrill of combat with none of the mortal wounds (although we can’t promise you won’t be a tad bruised by the end of it all). Test out your strategy skills and see if you can make the winning shot. Nae Limits and Paintball Perth both provide the activity in the region and will equip you with full body protection, a gun and enough paintballs to ensure your enemies truly fear you. Splash has a Paintball site and offers packages that combine this activity with one of their other fun-packed activities such as whitewater rafting or canyoning.
8) River Bugging
If you can’t decide this weekend between sitting in your armchair or hurtling down a fast-flowing river, now you can do both! River Bugging is a great way to play on the river if you want that little bit more excitement. A Bug looks like a hi-tech blow up armchair; you sit in it and use a fin and webbed gloves to propel you safely down the river. It’s ideal for summer river levels and promises to be a thrill-packed adventure! Splash, based near Aberfeldy, brought River Bugging to Scotland from New Zealand in 2003 and is the most experienced provider in Scotland, offering this great sport on the Tummel and Tay rivers.
9) Rock Climbing
Climbing is one of the fastest growing sport in the UK at the moment, with Scotland being home to some of the best locations in the UK. No matter what your experience level, there is something for everyone to climb Perthshire. For beginner climbers and families, there are plenty of experienced guides that will take you to some great locations, including Gulabin Lodge Outdoor Centre and Beyond Adventure.
If you are looking for something a bit more serious, UK Climbing has an online map that outlines all the crags in your local area. Remember to always stay safe and climb within your ability!
10) Mountain Biking
Whether you’re bringing your own bike up or looking to give it a go for the first time, there are many great places across Perthshire for mountain biking. Comrie Croft is fast becoming one of the go to destinations for bikers, with over 87km of routes to take (all of which can also be hiked if you’d prefer something a little less strenuous). At Comrie Croft you can try out your talents on the mountain bike skills park and pump track, which is completely free to try. Bike hire is available nearby as are amenities for washing your bike and yourselves, plus tea, coffee and delicious cakes are available in the nearby tearoom, making for the perfect end of the day treat. Check out their website for more information.
There are no fewer than 16 mountain biking routes across Highland Perthshire, and riders can take comfort in knowing that their subsequent landowners have approved the routes. You can pick the route to your level of difficulty, with easier treks for the novices and real challenges for the experts. If you’re interested in the full map of routes, Develop Mountain Biking in Scotland have helpfully provided a series of downloadable cards on their website.
Get the Kids out there!
Kids love adventure, and it’s healthy for them to learn about risks while having the time of their lives. These companies specialise in thrill-seeking for kids, so they can have as much fun as you do in the wilds of Perthshire:
- Wee Adventures – offering canoeing and kayaking, guided walks, family days out, forest play, bushcraft, guided mountain bike journeys, climbing and abseiling, adventure birthday parties and more, this is a fantastic place for the wee ones or the whole family. Find out more about Wee Adventures
- Wee Limits Adventure Academy – a full day of outdoor adventure from 10am – 4pm for kids aged 6-12. The Wee Adventurers will journey through Highland Perthshire’s beautiful natural playgrounds of rivers, lochs and forests trying out lots of new adventure activities along the way! Find out more about Wee Limits
- Crieff Hydro kids’ activities – your little ones can try out quad biking, Segways and mountain biking (depending on their age, of course), or hurtle round Loch Earn on a wakeboard, kneeboard, banana boat or doughnut! Find out about Crieff Hydro kids’ activities
Willowgate Activity Centre – Willowgate is the go-to place in Perth for mini (and grown-up) fun-seekers, with aqua-zorbing, paddle-boarding and kayaking all on offer. Find out about activities at Willowgate Activity Centre
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And if you’re staying overnight in Perth or Perthshire before you do your adventures, check out our accommodation section for some great hotels, guest houses and B&Bs!